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Call for ISC3 Innovation Challenge

Deadline : 19/04/2022

Credit : ISC3

The ISC3 Innovation Challenge is organized annually and focuses on a specific topic that follows the respective focus topic of the ISC3. The current third Innovation Challenge addresses innovators developing solutions in the following thematic areas:

Waste Prevention

  • Avoiding and reducing environmental impact

  • Durability and resilience

  • Closing material, molecule, and energy cycles

  • Waste reduction/avoidance by resource-efficient chemical and biotechnological production

  • Substitution of critical product ingredients preventing recycling

  • Product design for longevity and better recyclability

Waste Valorisation

  • Recovery and reuse of waste streams:

  1. Plastic and other materials waste

  2. Electronic waste

  3. Agricultural and food waste

  4. Construction waste

  5. Production waste

  6. Waste-water

  7. Other waste streams

  • Recycling, beneficial reuse, value recovery

  • Waste reclamation

  • Energy and scarce element recovery

  • Business models facilitating waste collection and valorisation

Waste Management

  • Safe and sound management of waste

  • Waste and waste-water treatment

  • Harmful substances in materials and products

  • Collection, transport, treatment, disposal, monitoring and regulation

ISC3 2022 special focus topic:

  • Waste management related to renewable energy supply (e.g. recycling/recyclability of batteries, wind power plant blades, PV materials)

Submission of proposals :

The submission of proposals will follow a 2-stage procedure. First stage submissions include an online template that asks for a brief description of the innovation, the business perspectives, and the innovators' team. Eligible submissions will be invited to the second stage, in which more detailed information has to be provided.

Eligible participants :

  • Eligible are all innovators and entrepreneurs, i.e. persons owning or representing the proposed innovation, employed by organizations including research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized enterprises or comparable institutions active in the development and realization of sustainable chemistry solutions.

  • Enterprises participating in the challenge shall have a staff headcount not exceeding 50 (full-time equivalent) and an annual turnover of max. 10 Mill. Euro.

  • Enterprises majority-owned by large enterprises are not eligible for the award, with the exception of innovations leading to the creation of independent spin-offs.

  • Proposals submitted by innovators and entrepreneurs from developing countries and tackling challenges in developing countries are considered as particularly important. Female entrepreneurs are specifically encouraged to submit a proposal.

Criteria :

The proposals will be assessed against the three main criteria:

  • Innovation level. Is the innovation unique, distinct, and truly original?

  • Business viability. What is the market potential of the innovation? Is the idea commercially feasible?

  • Sustainability. What is the sustainability impact of the innovation?


Five finalists will receive:

  • Tailored support: access to Global Start-up Service Customise Support

  • Visibility: promotion of your innovation via ISC3 communication channels

  • Networking: participation in the Investor Forum 2022

  • Training: pitch training for preparation of your Investor Forum 2022 pitch

  • Cash prizes: the overall Innovation Challenge Winner will receive a cash prize of 15,000EUR.

  • The two separate categories “Best Social Impact” and “Best Regional Impact" are endowed with cash prizes amounting to 5.000 EUR each.

Useful links :

For questions about the innovation challenge, please email astrid.ewaz©

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